Demand for Luxury Condos Grows Richer

Real Estate

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY JAN 26, 2016

Ground broke last week on Echelon on Palm, just the most recent luxury condominium project under construction in Downtown Sarasota. But real estate agents selling units downtown say the appetite for a high-end urban lifestyle in this beachside community continues. “Demand is strong and inventories are low, particularly in the luxury market,” said Amy Drake, director of sales and marketing for Echelon on Palm. “If you are at this price point and able to write a big check, you want the best of the best," she said." 

The Ronto Group broke ground on Echelon on Palm Thursday, and company officials expect the project to reach completion in early summer of 2017. The 18-story structure will have one town home on the first two floors with each other residence having a full floor dedicated for a single unit. So far, 11 units are already under contract and six remain available, priced from $2.195 million to $4.25 million. Ronto president Anthony Solomon noted that customers have relished the chance to customize the interiors. “It has been great to see such a positive response,” he said.  Also speaking to the nature of the high-end market today, Drake said every transaction so far has been a cash deal, and she expects that trend to continue until the entire building is sold out. That seems to be true around the region. The Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee reports that of the 659 sales closed in the entire Sarasota market in the month of December, 325 were cash sales.

And the demand for large, customizable units can be felt in other projects as well. At Sansara, a project, where another 17 luxury units are already under construction in the Burns Court neighborhood, two units span whole floors, and other floors are divided between just two units. All but three units have already been sold, with the remaining unuts priced from $1.5 million to $2.2 million, according to Jonathan Abrams, Sansara head of sales. “The demand is here right now because Sarasota is a global destination now,” he said. And the demand for larger units comes as more buyers choose to make Southwest Florida a permanent home. Snowbirds no more, people who used to buy small units here and live for a few months in Florida while keeping a primary residence up north now seek out units large enough to serve as a home through a bulk of the year. “Now it’s flip-flopping, and we see more people keep a smaller residence in Canada or somewhere up north to spent three to four months, and now the are looking for full-time living spaces in Sarasota,” Abrams said.

Rendering courtesy Echelon on Palm

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